strang·​er | \ ˈstrān-jər How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

Definition of stranger

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one who is strange: such as
a(1) : foreigner
(2) : a resident alien
b : one in the house of another as a guest, visitor, or intruder
c : a person or thing that is unknown or with whom one is unacquainted
d : one who does not belong to or is kept from the activities of a group
e : one not privy or party to an act, contract, or title : one that interferes without right
2 : one ignorant of or unacquainted with someone or something



Definition of stranger (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being a stranger : foreign


strangered; strangering; strangers

Definition of stranger (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stranger

Synonyms: Noun

foreigner, nonnative, outlander, outsider

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of stranger in a Sentence


Children are taught not to talk to strangers. He is a complete stranger to me. “Excuse me. Do you know where the library is?” “I'm sorry. I'm a stranger here myself.” I'm a stranger to the area.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Until the night of August 3, when a stranger came up to K5, knocked it down, and kicked it repeatedly, inflicting serious damage. Wired, "Of Course Citizens Should Be Allowed to Kick Robots," 29 Aug. 2019 She was headed back to an apartment building on Irving Street NW when she was killed Tuesday night by a man police believe was a stranger. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Woman walking dog killed in apparent random attack," 28 Aug. 2019 The logic applies whether the person in question is a co-worker or a stranger. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Is it ever okay to express your anger by emailing someone else’s boss?," 27 Aug. 2019 On a recent morning, a stranger noticed Ms. Allen’s name sewn on her uniform and spontaneously began to belt out the chorus from a song from the Police. Laura Dimon, New York Times, "New York’s Hottest Makeup Counter: The Port Authority Bathroom," 23 Aug. 2019 Dance Moms, however, is no stranger to cutting out dances for the sake of time. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Abby Lee Miller Calls Out 'Dance Moms' Producers For Not Airing Liliana's Winning Solo," 23 Aug. 2019 Shehla Rashid, politician, activist and former vice-president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s students’ union, is no stranger to such trolling. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Getting trolled is a small price to pay to get information out of Kashmir, says activist Shehla Rashid," 22 Aug. 2019 Not Afraid to Show Her Stretch Marks on Social Media Of course, Graham is no stranger to the body positivity movement. Christina Oehler,, "Pregnant Ashley Graham Shows Off Stretch Marks In Nude Photo," 19 Aug. 2019 Smith is no stranger to fast EVs, having turned a 1970s city car into the world's quickest EV. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Fully Charged gets a first look at the Porsche Taycan EV," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Every pro sports star has signed tons and tons of autographs for fans, but some of them have signed stranger things than others. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "J.J. Watt's weirdest autograph: Signed pregnant woman's belly, then later met her baby," 7 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stranger.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stranger


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1606, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for stranger


Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangier stranger, foreigner, from estrange

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Statistics for stranger

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stranger

The first known use of stranger was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for stranger



English Language Learners Definition of stranger

: someone who you have not met before or do not know
: someone who has not experienced something
: someone who is in a new and unfamiliar place


strang·​er | \ ˈstrān-jər How to pronounce stranger (audio) \

Kids Definition of stranger

1 : a person in a new or unfamiliar place She is a stranger here and does not know her way around.
2 : a person whom another person does not know or has not met Children should not talk to strangers.



Legal Definition of stranger

: someone who is not a party or in privity with a party (as to a contract or legal action) may be enforced against a stranger to the contract

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More from Merriam-Webster on stranger

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stranger

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stranger

Spanish Central: Translation of stranger

Nglish: Translation of stranger for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stranger for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stranger

What made you want to look up stranger? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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